Archive for March, 2013


Posted in Air, Android, Arduino, Hardware, Locomotion, MESH on March 28, 2013 by asteriondaedalus

So, one project that has always been on the back burner is a submersible.  Now the reason is simple, electricity and water don’t mix.  Still, as discussed in News Splash , that is on its way.

However, in the meantime the closest thing to having to deal with movement in a fluid is a blimp.  Various ideas for RC blimps are around but I wanted a cheap vehicle to get into it (and to have something to give my nephew to get him into electronics and robotics).  Blimps are actually quite expensive to buy so I thought on it and one day, down by the beach at a $2-shop I saw and bought a pool toy.  I figured I needn’t be serious about it, but also the molded-in handles actually gave me a good place to hang any gondola that would be slung under it.


Of course, the flight control will be via an AIO.  I can then stage development, first RC than semi-moving-onto-full autonomous.


Now you can buy a daughter board for the AIO to carry your XBee and GPS but I opted for a dual XBee shield.  I will remove the pins used for mating to Arduino boards.  The prototyping area will be handy and the two XBee sites will be used, not by XBee RF module of  course but a Synapse SNAP module and a XBee as Bluetooth module.

dual xbee

The Bluetooth will be to talk to the on-board Android phone that will eventually hold the Autonomy.  Initially it can provide the camera and the GPS.  The phone can also act as the Bluetooth hub for indoor work or talking directly to my computer or tablet by wireless.

water proof phone

To push the blimp through the air I have ordered vector thrust units.  I will have two up front to gimbaled the vertical axis for aileron/elevator mixing and a single pusher at the rear, gimbaled in the horizontal to give “rudder”.  That is, that will be the initial configuration.  The power train configuration, especially its location etc. will need to be the focus of some experimentation.


I got cheap ESC to start, they will only do for outdoor or restricted indoor work.  I’ll need reversible ESC to allow the blimp to back out of trouble when maneuvering indoor (eventually).

HK-12A… more to come as project comes together.

Update on Gumstix killer

Posted in Android, Hardware on March 24, 2013 by asteriondaedalus

Revisiting Gumstix Killer theme.

Dual core, 1.6GHz, $46.


Posted in Air, Android, Arduino, Ground, Hardware, Sea, Sensing on March 19, 2013 by asteriondaedalus

Waterproof mobile phones available between $70 single core and $140 dual core. POSTSCRIPT Read later article.

water proof phone

Android 2 odd on the single cores and Android 4 odd on the dual cores.

This will compliment the waterproof servos I have ordered for the Rock Crawler:


Or the waterproof brushless motor and esc:


(*pist* normal brushless motors can run under water BUT may need to do things to them to make them last longer)

So a bluetooth module on one serial port of the:


And an XBee/Snap on the other serial port and viola, Perfect waterproof system … well once I sort out how to waterproof the little board above.

Still, for projects that don’t need the sensors and only want to drive servos or ESC then a bluetooth XBee module on the:


So many possibilities and you can mix and match without pesky wires.